Judge jumps into courtroom scuffle

February 5, 2009 1:57:51 PM PST
A Harnett County judge jumped off the bench to help arrest an out of control suspect, and it was all caught on tape.It happened Wednesday in a Lillington courtroom.

Deputies say 61-year old Freddie McAllister was being arrested for allegedly violating a domestic violence protective order. That's when the scuffle broke out in a holding area attached to the courtroom.

Newly elected judge Paul Holcombe sprung into action.

"He was the first responder to assist the deputy. He was pretty fleet-footed. They say he looked like Batman coming off the bench," offered Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins laughing.

Rollins says he can laugh about it now, but he knew he had a serious situation when it happened.

Holcombe told his clerk to push the panic button when the scuffle started and he saw McAllister trying to get the deputy's gun. He rushed to get the man's hand away from the pistol, and then more deputies flooded in to finish handcuffing him.

Rollins said it's a reminder of how dangerous a courtroom can be.

"We're running criminal courts every day. We are bringing - and collecting in one place - some of the most unsavory individuals in our county - right there. And it has that potential to be a problem anytime," he said.

McAllister got 30-days in jail for contempt and faces a slew of charges for trying to escape.


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